Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

27 May 2014. Jillions Did His Usual Slovenly and Incompetent Job in Posting Pastoral Changes.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. It came from Syosset. 2012


It took John Jillions TWO MONTHS to post important pastoral changes on oca.org. SINFO gets equivalent official news out on patriarchia.ru THE SAME DAY THAT IT HAPPENS. I seem to notice a difference. Using modern technology, a single person can scan an official signed document and have it posted online in PDF format in MINUTES. Seraphim Storheim’s OFFICIAL retirement announcement (with a PDF facsimile of the official signed document attached) should have been up on the site on 23 March… but Jillions is lazy and incompetent, so, it languished until 21 May (nearly two months)… he has nothing but contempt for the people. He does LOVE the Uniates though… he was their running dog hireling for years. Do we really need such a quisling in such a sensitive position, especially, as his actions prove him bone-idle and clueless (but he does jump swiftly to defend his Uniate pals, though)? This, I fear, must play out to the end… the OCA will sink and no one will miss it. However, more than one Sobor participant told me, “We CHOSE Mollard… he was the only choice… we had to choose SOMEONE”… the real world’s like that, kids. It ain’t perfect. However, the fragile peace will hold until the next major storm hits… shall it be the notional 2016 all-Orthodox Sobor? We can only wait and see.  For the time being, enjoy the peace n’ quiet… ain’t it good to have no news for a change (that means that’s there’s no food-fight or shitstorm going on)?


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Sunday, 27 April 2014

27 April 2014. DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender… It’s Time to End the OCA’s War on Abuse Victims… It’s Time to Tell the TRUTH for a Change

00 Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. OCA pilates. 01.12


For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.

Epistle of St Paul to Titus 1.7

Now, as I write, the judicial farce in Canada isn’t over yet. I think that it’s time to stop coddling clerical miscreants and to start thinking of their victims. For instance, the tactic taken by Storheim’s defence counsel sickened me… essentially, it was, “They’re nuts, so, you can’t believe them”. This is why victims often don’t come forward… not only do they suffer abuse at the hands of their abusers, they suffer further abuse at the hands of attorneys, institutional officials, and “goodthinkers”. If they win, then, the powers-that-be in the Church tell them that they have to “understand”… that is, “We’re not going to apologise to you publicly as it’s not only an embarrassment, but our lawyers told us not to”.

The Church’s only real authority is its moral authority. For instance, the Church in the homeland doesn’t want to be a “state church”. Why? It’d compromise its moral authority, that’s why. It’s bad enough to be accused of such… which does lead to some degradation of moral authority (but not as severe as an actual state relationship would have). In the OCA’s case, it can’t hide behind “we admit no legal wrongdoing” forever. One such case is bad enough… the EKD had it when the cops nicked Frau Kässemann for drunk driving. She realised that shredded her cred, so, she did the only honourable thing… she resigned, and apologised publicly. You can see where I’m going, don’t you?

Storheim’s shenanigans aren’t the first legal monkeyshines in the OCA… the coppers arrested Benjamin Peterson… Herman Swaiko (to his credit) demanded that he face the consequences, but the Holy Synod refused to act. A court convicted Storheim in Canada, and the Holy Synod still hasn’t acted… Tosi did give us a classic lawyerly evasion, though. Now, Isidore Brittain, a favourite of both Peterson and Paffhausen, faces kiddie porn charges. Sources tell me that the Holy Synod is trying to claim that since they defrocked him, they need do nothing else. This is ludicrous. The OCA desperately needs, not only peace, but also its moral authority restored. That means that it should apologise publicly that a priest of its jurisdiction (for Brittain was certainly that) engaged in such a horrific assault on children. It can’t say, “Well, we washed our hands of the matter by defrocking him”. What was the nature of Brittain’s relationship with Paffhausen and Peterson? Both shielded him, after all. One of the Cabinet said that if Brittain didn’t cop a plea, he could take Peterson and Paffhausen down with him.

Moral authority begins by protecting the weak… not attacking them. We can’t “deny” anymore. We need to say, “Yes, Seraphim Storheim did what the court said that he did. We apologise and we intend to make amends. We’ll see to it that he’s sent to a remote monastery where he can no longer hurt children”. We need to say, “Yes, Benjamin Peterson chose to drive drunk. It was an inexcusable lapse of judgement, for bishops need moral authority. Therefore, we’re sending him off to Manton, to live out his days in repentance. May God look over him”. We need to say, “Yes, Stanley/Isidore Brittain committed gross acts whilst being a priest of the OCA. We apologise for that. We’ll do our best to compensate his victims”.

That’d restore moral authority, and then some. However… I urge you not to hold your breath… not as long as Eric Tosi, John Jillions, and Lyonyo Kishkovsky keep power. Here’s the paradox… if one follows the path of “institutional survival”, one ends by killing the institution, as it’d kill moral authority. Yet, if one did the “crazy” thing and admitted the wrongdoing and did one’s best to put it right, it’d save the institution. It seems counterintuitive and a contradiction to those raised on “legalese” and evasion. However, it IS the only way out. There are many healthy elements in the OCA… but if the present apparat continues its current course, the body won’t survive the next tremor (which will occur… maybe, as soon as the proposed all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016). Mind you, the healthy parishes would survive… they’d merely find a body with real moral authority.

For a Church, if it lacks moral cred, you may as well roll it up and put it to bed… its dead. THAT’S the bottom-line…


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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fr Nikolai Balashov Sez Church Schism in the Ukraine would Die without Political Support



Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the deputy head of the MP Synodal Department of External Church Relations (OVTsS), thinks that political support is the main reason that the church schism in the Ukraine exists. He said on the Orthodox radio Radonezh, “I’m convinced that if political support dried up, the schism would die in a very short time”. He also commented on the recent decision of the UOC/MP to resume dialogue with the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate”, noting that the beginning of a dialogue aimed at restoring Church unity in the Ukraine, “is very important. It’s important that this dialogue developed along the principles laid down by all the Local Orthodox Churches, namely the return to ecclesial communion of those who, unfortunately, had left it”. He also expressed the hope that the topic of schism, including those in the Ukraine, would become one of the topics discussed at the all-Orthodox Sobor, scheduled for 2016.

25 March 2014



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Thursday, 13 March 2014

V R Legoida: “It’s not Correct nor Acceptable to Call It an Ecumenical Council”

17-Alfons Maria Mucha. Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain. The Orthodox Vatican (from the Slavonic Epic, nr 17). 1926

Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain: The Orthodox Vatican (from the Slavonic Epic, nr 17)

Alfons Maria Mucha



Vladimir Legoida, head of the MP Synodal Information Department (SINFO), expanded on what came about at the meeting of the First Hierarchs and representatives of the Local Churches held last week at the HQ of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Phanar in Istanbul. The main purpose of the meeting was to prepare for an all-Orthodox Sobor. Legoida related that the Church reached consensus on convening a Sobor in spring 2016, saying, “The MP delegation, headed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundayev, played a crucial role in this. The meeting decided to increase preparations for holding a Sobor. This autumn, a special commission composed of one bishop and one advisor from each autocephalous Local Church will begin work. By the spring of next year, the commission will pave the way for the opening of an all-Orthodox Pre-Sobor Conference. It’ll agree upon the final issues to be addressed and be the final step towards an all-Orthodox Sobor”.

“One should note that the First Hierarchs and representatives of the Local Churches unequivocally supported the MP’s position that we should reach all decisions at any future all-Orthodox Sobor by consensus only. This means that if a decision lacks the support of even one Local Church, the Sobor won’t accept it; all decisions must have unanimity to be valid. This is according to ancient Church tradition, this characterises and distinguishes catholicity from recent parliamentary democracy, where decision-making is through the principle of majority. What’s more, this Sobor is important as a living example of how to restore inter-Orthodox communication, long complicated by various factors”. Answering a question whether the upcoming Sobor is an Ecumenical Council, Legoida explained, “Some call the upcoming Sobor a Holy and Great Council; some call it an all-Orthodox Sobor. It’s not correct nor acceptable to call it an Ecumenical Council. The last Ecumenical Council was in Nicaea in 787, and there’s been no more Ecumenical Councils since then. After the schism of 1054, the Latins continued to hold councils, which they called ‘ecumenical’. However, the Church doesn’t recognise them. We expect that the future all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016 would include the First Hierarchs and representatives of all recognised autocephalous Orthodox Local Churches“.

12 March 2014


MP official website


Editor’s Note:

I left “Sobor” in the original Russian for a reason. Firstly, all Russian Orthodox in the diaspora know what a “sobor” is… it’s a meeting held to thrash out matters of Church governance, not doctrinal issues. That’s true of this meeting, as well. There’s MUCH less to it than what EP and papist sources are trumpeting in various fora and media. GIVE HEED TO THE SECTIONS IN BOLDFACE. Read them with care… there be plenty of fresh and steaming cowpats in that there field. When one adds to that Balashov’s recent comment on the number of autocephalous Churches, one can realise that this Sobor is far from a done deal.

One last thing, Antioch and Czechia/Slovakia weren’t at the late meeting… y’know, we need CONSENSUS for ANYTHING to fly… can you catch my drift?


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